MAS losses nearly double in first half
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has reported a near doubling of losses for the first half ended 30 September and is warning that restructuring plans drawn up in July may have to be reworked as a result of deteriorating trading conditions.
The long-suffering carrier, which was renationalised earlier this year, says net loss amounted to 772.79 million ringgit ($203 million), compared with a net loss of 398.04 million ringgit for the same six months of last year.
Turnover fell to 4.26 billion ringgit from 4.54 billion ringgit, while operating loss after interest on borrowings, depreciation and amortisation, and exceptional items worsened to 780.2 million ringgit from 393.76 million ringgit.
“The business environment already weakening before the tragic event of September 11 attacks on the USA is now more challenging. The situation is highly dynamic and depending on the global environment, MAS may have to make additional changes to its turnaround programme announced in July 2001,” it says.
“The present environment will continue to be volatile and we expect the remaining period of this financial year to be difficult.”
MAS was renationalised in February in a controversial deal in which the Government bought back the biggest single stake in the airline from aviation holding company Naluri at a price many said was too high.
Since then the Government has been implementing a restructuring aimed at returning the heavily indebted carrier to profitability by 2004. MAS has lost money in each of its last four financial years.
Its restructuring involves a reorganisation of domestic operations including fare hikes, an increased focus on regional routes in Asia, expanded partnerships with other airlines, the implementation of revenue management systems and sweeping cuts to long-haul services.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news